Appsens has developed a sensor that can help detect atrial fibrillation. The solution is on its way to Europe.
The Lillesand company realised that there were too few methods for finding out whether a person has atrial fibrillation, which is one of the most common heart rhythm disorders. Therefore, it developed a product that consists of a wireless ECG meter, a so-called ‘smart heart sensor’.
The sensor captures electrical signals from the heart and transmits them to a mobile app via Bluetooth. The data is uploaded to the cloud and is available to GPs and cardiologists if the test detects atrial fibrillation.
Collaboration with professional environments
Innovation Norway has followed the company closely since its inception in 2017. Appsens received a start-up grant in its early phase and has received further grants and loans to develop the product.
The technology was developed and the sensor tested in a close collaboration between research environments at the University of Agder and the cardiology department at Sørlandet Hospital. The vast majority of subcontractors are also located in the Agder region.
The last project Innovation Norway was involved in at Appsens was a collaboration that also included Sørlandet Hospital. This was based on developing a new software platform for the heart sensor with an associated app. The solution is designed to coordinate and follow up wireless ECG tests from patients tested for abnormal heart rhythms. The project was a success, and the hospital can now administer ESG tests without the patient attending the hospital in person.
Large international market
Appsens is established in the Norwegian market and the next step is an international focus. The company has signed deals with distributors for Greece and Cyprus, the Baltic States, and Italy. They are now targeting Germany and Hungary.
“Next year we plan to move on to major markets such as France, Spain, Poland, and the US,” says Tord Ytterdahl, CEO at Appsens.
It is estimated that almost 1.3 million ECG procedures are performed each year in Germany. The corresponding figure for the US is almost 4 million. There is no doubt that the market is enormous.
“If we can capture a few percentage points in the market we will be a success. We believe that we have the best product at a competitive price, so this is something we will achieve,” states Ytterdahl.
A plaster on your sternum and a mobile app are all you need to test yourself.
Anyone can purchase the heart sensor. The company is working on getting it out for sale in shops and chemists in Norway, although to date you can purchase it from an online chemists for around NOK 1,900.
“This gives you a meter for many years and you only need to change the electrode plaster,” says project manager Elisabet Ramsdal.